WINAMAC — Local high school administrators expect to award more than 80 diplomas Friday at the Winamac Community High School 2014 commencement.
The 7 p.m. ceremony in the high school gym will honor about 81 graduates of the Class of 2014. Among them will be 25 students earning Core 40 with Academic Honors diplomas, four earning Core 40 with Technical Honors diplomas, 44 earning Core 40 diplomas and eight earning general diplomas, according to guidance staff at the high school.
Core 40 diplomas indicate those students completed the state minimum requirements for attendance at a four-year public university.
Eric Newman, 18, will be the class valedictorian. Salutatorian this year is Courtney Boos, an 18-year-old from Winamac.
The evening will be particularly special for Marilyn Newman, Eric’s mother. Eric Newman is also the second Lilly Scholar in the Newman family, following in the footsteps of his older sister Meghan, who was Winamac’s salutatorian and Lilly Scholar in 2010.
“It’s very humbling for me,” Newman said. She explained she had stopped checking their grades and homework after third grade, but expected them to do their best.
“The deal was... they always had to look us in the eye and tell us they had done their personal best. And if they’d done their personal best, we were fine with that,” Newman explained.
The Star City mother and math teacher at Winamac Middle School credited Eric’s inner drive for his academic achievements, the same thing she said has gotten Meghan through the mechanical engineering program at Purdue with honors.
Eric Newman, 18, said he’d felt a need to fulfill his mother’s wishes — and make his father proud.
Ed Newman, Marilyn’s husband and Eric and Meghan’s father, passed away about three years ago.
“At the time, it was just really hard,” he recalled. But friends in the area rallied around the family, he said, letting him know he never had to ask twice if he needed help from someone.